The General Dental Council (GDC) has issued updated information on how it will continue to regulate and support dentists during the coronavirus (Covid19) outbreak.

Core regulatory principles

The GDC previously said its aim is to continue to be to provide support and clarity where they are able to, based on the two core principles:

  • Minimising the burden of time and attention we impose on registrants.
  • Maximising the flexibility of registrants to manage their professional activities in response to the challenges of COVID-19.

Emergency registration

In light of large scale registration of doctors and nurses, the GDC said it lacked statutory powers to do the same, saying: “The other regulators involved have specific legal powers to give temporary registration in an emergency which allow them to make this a very straightforward process. The GDC doesn’t have those powers so we can’t do that – and that’s something only the government could change, it isn’t within our control.”

It confirmed it had plans in place to implement a temporary register if the Government introduce legislation.

Fake communications

The GDC warned against fake news with some of these have falsely claimed that the GDC may penalise professionals who do not volunteer to be redeployed to support the COVID-19 response. 

The GDC confirmed this is not the case and urged caution saying “lookout for misleading information and help others by not boosting the circulation of messages, unless you are confident that they come from official sources.”


On the matter of CPD, an important aspect of fitness to practise and revalidation, the GDC said: “We have already made clear that we will be sympathetic to people who are finding it difficult to maintain their CPD in current circumstances, and we have made a commitment that nobody will be removed from the register because of a lack of access to CPD during the crisis period.”

GDC revalidation has been postponed for this year and it confirmed that it was looking at how it can best offer more flexibility to minimise the burden on registrants and will provide a further update soon.

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